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The New Three-Legged Stool: A Tax Efficient Approach to Retirement Planning

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  • Posted November 9, 2012

    Essential Advice for Retirement Planning

    If you plan to live long enough to retire and if you don’t want to hand over the lion’s share of your hard-earned money to the IRS, then you’ll want to get this book. Don’t worry if you don’t understand tax code or complicated law; Rodgers lays out the hows and whys in clear, simple language that everyone can understand. That is a good thing, because letting your money set unattended year after year could end up costing you or your family almost everything.

    The New Three-Legged Stool open with the story of a family who ended up paying the IRS 85% of all their inheritance. The parents worked hard all their lives to provide for their children as well as to give to their community. They employed local 1,000 residents in their business. They saved all their money in a IRA—like a lot of Americans, thinking that was safe. Tragically, upon the parents’ death, the children received practically nothing as government taxes gobbled up the cash. Unfortunately, this is not an unusual story; and it could happen to you if you don’t properly safeguard your retirement.

    Rick Rodgers is a Certified Financial Planner, Certified Retirement Counselor, and a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisers. His company, Rodgers & Associates, was named by Wealth Manager magazine as one of the country’s top wealth managers.

    Rodgers uses a three-step, or three-legged, approach to financial planning:

    1) Tax-deferred savings strategies are the easiest money to invest. However, you need to be aware that you will pay taxes on the money later, so relying solely on this one leg of the stool is a mistake.

    2) After-tax saving strategies include your bank and brokerage accounts as well as investment real estate. You must be careful in how you invest, because you pay taxes along the way.

    3) Tax-free savings strategies include the Roth IRA and Roth 401(k), which are harder to save in because you’re using after-tax dollars.

    Rodgers provides the reader with step-by-step advice and case studies to bring it home. You learn how to use the three legs to your advantage.

    Pertinent tips are throughout. For example, in the section “Tips for Taking an Early Retirement,” is this tip: “The financial press often reports you estimate your retirement expenses to be about 80% of those you incurred before retirement. My experience has shown most people want to keep the same standard of living and just replace work-related expenses with the other expenses I mentioned.” He goes on to explain how to factor in the effect of inflation on your retirement expenses.

    This informative and educational book ends with how to create your own detailed investment plan.

    I don’t know how much it would cost to pay Rodgers an hourly consultation fee, but one thing is for sure: at less than $19 online, this book is a bargain. It just might be one of the best investments you can make for your retirement.

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  • Posted April 24, 2011


    Rick Rodgers has written a gem on retirement planning. It makes me wish I had known him way back when, but even for people closer to retirement age, there are some pretty useful tips here for the reading. Rodgers gives the reader a strategy to manage retirement savings so as to protect assets by balancing them into three legs: tax deferred, after tax, and tax free savings. Rodgers is eloquent as he presents case histories that teach lessons in themselves, and underscore the message he has to offer. Plan wisely! Protect your assets. You and your heirs will be glad for your efforts. You will also be glad that you read The New Three-legged Stool.

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  • Posted November 8, 2009

    What a fantastic book!

    Wow, what an important book! If anybody wants to retire wealthy and not throw away all of their hard-earned money to Uncle Sam, The New Three-Legged Stool is the book to read. It was an eye-opener to read dozens of true stories of hard working citizens with a big heart and great intentions who lost millions of dollars come retirement because they were simply misguided or under-educated on how to take advantage of simple tax strategies.

    Rick Rodger's motto is "Your protection is knowledge": the more knowledgable you are about asset allocation, investments, Roth IRAs and tax-free savings, the better protected you are. He is exactly right. Eventhough my husband works in the financial arena, there was not one page of this book where I didn't learn smething new -and I'm sure my husband can as well!

    - Kate Raidt, author of "The Million-Dollar Parent", founder of

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  • Posted November 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    New Book on how to plan your finances wisely in today's economy and pay fewer taxes.

    As a real estate investor and owner of multiple corporate entities, I know that it is critical to have a smart tax expert and financial planner on your team. One who knows smart strategies and all the pillars or legs of a financial plan for real net growth. Rick Rodgers's book titled The New Three-Legged Stool describes three of the core pillars of retirement planning with focuses on tax deferments and savings.

    Along with tax savings, Rick also discusses methods of minimizing risk through asset allocations. I suspect that many investors would have fared far more favorable in the latest economic downturn in the financial markets, if they had better diversification in asset allocations, and a smart plan in place, and Rick's assistance.

    A good read for everyone who wants their portfolio to grow.

    - Eddie Godshalk, MBA author of The Missing Keys to Thriving in Any Real Estate Market: A Risk Reduction Blueprint for Investors and Real Estate Professionals

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  • Posted September 18, 2009

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    Things We Should All Do...

    "A kind heart and an empty head won't stand up in a court of law. Your protection is knowledge."

    This eye opening message and true story is from the very beginning few pages of Rick Rodgers new book "The New Three-Legged Stool." In this book, he share's with us the things we should do, why we should do them, and when the best time is to execute particular moves as it relates to your finances and the IRS. Easily read, this information gives you the options that you need in order to make sound and secure decisions to protect yourself and your family. I would suggest this book to everyone; especially those entering the work force at a time when competition is fierce and to those that have an established retirement plan.

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  • Posted August 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Rodgers Gives us a Compelling Way to Preserve out Wealth

    Rodgers divides his book into three main sections: Leg one- tax deferred strategies. Leg two - after tax savings strategies. And, leg three - tax-free savings strategies. Rodgers calls upon his expertise and years of successful experience as one the nation's top wealth managers. It soon becomes clear that Rodgers has accumulated vast insight and knowledge about finances, investment, taxes and portfolio management.

    Leg one - tax -deferred strategies. Rodgers offers a refresher course about tax-deferred strategies, recommending that lowering your taxable income will result in a benefit from a lower tax bracket. Rodgers adroitly elucidates the details of defined pension plans, defined contribution plans, after tax savings strategies and tax-free strategies. Rodgers makes sense out of IRA's, 401K's, 403B's, 457 plans and annuity payments. He even demonstrates which states do not tax pensions. Rodgers provides clear strategies involving capital gains, ordinary income and ten-year averaging. Likewise, Rodgers explains the risks with tax on excess contributions, early distribution penalties and the excess accumulation tax. Rodgers also devotes significant attention for those who have accumulated large amounts of company stock.

    Leg two focuses on after tax savings strategies, including tax-deferred accounts, transferring assets and asset allocation. He also delineates strategies for stocks, bonds, money-market accounts and international funds.

    Diversification is an important part of this portion of Rodger's book. He offers cogent ideas on rebalancing portfolios and reducing the wrong kind of portfolio risk. Rodgers skillfully proffers that short-term gains in a taxable account can be disastrous. He cautions that mutual fund managers are not always as cognizant of tax considerations as they are of short-term profit.

    Rodgers recommends a "zero tax bracket approach" to investment. This includes gifting opportunities and savings via indexed funds, tax-efficient mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.

    Leg three offers tax-free savings strategies, including Roth accounts, distributions, how and when to take retirement savings and the required minimum distribution (the item that killed the Richardson family's wealth). No aspect of IRAs goes unturned in Rodgers' examination.

    Rodgers helps us understand withdrawal plans, how and when to take retirement and early retirement. He also wisely cautions that those interested in early retirement plan carefully to avoid boredom. He stresses the need for assessing realistic returns and disciplined savings. Interested investors must examine the potential for a lifetime return versus a guaranteed number of years of returns.

    Rodgers explains the details of Social Security for us. This includes understanding earnings statements, calculations, benefits, delaying benefits and family benefits. He also carefully explains how to determine your Social Security taxation and how to reduce tax on Social Security benefits.

    Finally, Rodgers offers an analysis on estate planning, how to safeguard your estate and how to create an IRS-efficient trust. This includes the power of Roth IRAs in estate planning. He finishes with some outstanding advice on records management and record keeping.

    Rodgers' new work is a compelling piece of non-fiction, with persuasive commentary, convincing facts, ubiquitous clear explanations, and credible conclusions.

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  • Posted August 6, 2009

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    A Great Book on Personal Finance

    Life is like a river and most of the people jump on river without ever really deciding where they would end up. In the beginning, they enjoy the float but soon they get caught up in the current. When they come to forks in the river, they don't consciously decide where they want to go or which the right direction for them is. They merely swim with the current. They are part of mass of the people who know only one thing, that is, jumping on the bandwagon rather than be directed by their own goals set upstream.

    Personal Finance is such a subject that majority of the people don't bother to study in their entire life. They wait for the paychecks; pay the minimum amount on credit cards and personal loans; remain under debt the whole life. They, in first instance, don't save money and if they save, do so without planning and knowledge. Then one day, they find themselves on the edge of Niagara Falls. That is the time they experience the torment of financial fall which they could have avoided by making some wise decisions during the course of journey.

    Ever since I launched myself in practical life, I had been reading books on savings and investments. I read from George Clason's The Richest Man in Babylon to Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Poor Dad to get guidance and motivation on investing and saving. But Rick Rodgers book The New Three-Legged Stool is very different than what I had been reading. The book is practical; gives case studies from real life; dry numbers don't make your reading sessions painful. Charts and graphs make the book very much understandable. It talks in detail about three vital parts of Personal Finance, namely:

    Leg # 1: Tax-Deferred Savings
    Leg # 2: After-Tax Savings
    Leg # 3: Tax-Free Savings

    After discussing an idea in detail, Rick gives you the summary under "Rick's Tip" for reinforcement. The book is not meant to be read after retirement; it is has to be read, absorbed and assimilated while you are working. Your today's decisions will have tremendous impact on your post retirement life. If young grads read this book at the start of their careers, trust me, that will be the best investment they can make in themselves. I highly recommend this book to be included in the curriculum of business schools. Young executives, in their careers, manage the billion dollar portfolios successfully but on personal front they end up as financial losers. Ignorance is no more bliss; it is a curse. Read Rick's The New Three-Legged Stool and get your Personal Finances on sound support.

    Last but not the least, if you don't have time to read it, don't make your investing decisions on whims and volitions. Hire a competent financial physician and entrust your finances to his or her wisdom.

    Best regards
    Ashraf Chaudhry
    Author of The Craft of Selling "YOURSELF"

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  • Posted August 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    New Book Teaches Wise Retirement Planning and How to Pay as Few Taxes As Possible

    How should you invest your money? Should you contribute to your company's 401k, put the money in a Roth IRA, or just buy mutual funds? Can you expect to receive any money from Social Security when you retire? How much of your retirement money will the IRS take in taxes? These are the important questions Rick Rodgers expertly answers in The New Three-Legged Stool with clear explanations, followed by practical, concise instructions to make the most with the money you have. This tax-efficient approach to retirement planning is one that readers will refer to again and again.

    The New Three-Legged Stool refers to the three types of investments you should have, and balance properly to support your retirement. These three investments are Tax-Deferred Savings, After-Tax Savings, and Tax-Free Savings. Rodgers takes the reader through an explanation of why each of these types of savings is important, how to invest in it, and how to withdraw the money to achieve the maximum benefit at the time of retirement. Tax-Deferred Savings include company 401(k) plans and IRAs (including SEP and SIMPLE plans). After-Tax Savings include mutual funds, bank and brokerage accounts, and investment real estate-anything that isn't technically a retirement account. Tax-Free Savings are Roth IRA's and Roth 401(k)s that have no immediate tax benefits. Rodgers devotes considerable time to explaining the benefits and disadvantages of these investments, and why a healthy balance must be achieved among all three.

    One of The New Three-Legged Stool's greatest strengths is the examples it offers in the form of various retirees' stories. The book opens with "The Un-Funniest Story Ever Told" about a successful businessman with an estate worth over $4.4 million. Because the man never consulted a retirement planner or made an effort to do estate planning, when he passed away, his children ended up paying 85.8% of their father's retirement account in taxes! Many more examples of retirees' experiences are illustrated in the book, often comparing two people's strategies to see which ends up being more beneficial.

    Besides telling readers how to manage their money according to the current IRS tax laws, Rodgers provides an explanation of how the IRS functions, why it tries to get as much money as possible, based on the U.S. Government's failure to handle its money properly, and the origins of Social Security, as well as the approaching crisis that by 2017 more money will be withdrawn than is annually contributed to Social Security.

    Rodgers closes with advice on finding a good retirement advisor and how to do estate planning, including writing a will or setting up a trust to protect your hard-earned money so you will have enough for the remainder of your life and money left over for your heirs. Several useful charts accompany the discussions.

    Rick Rodgers is well qualified to provide advice on tax-efficient retirement planning. He is an industry veteran of twenty-five years, has published numerous articles on investing in such publications as Wealth Manager, been a guest on TV and radio shows, and been quoted in Investment News and Smart Money magazine. In 1996, he founded Rodgers & Associates "to help families create and conserve their wealth in preparation for worry-free and dignified retirements." For more information visit

    - Tyler R. Tichelaar, author of the award-winning "Narrow Lives."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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